Peppermint Hot Chocolate

The perfect recipe for winter snow days, packed with feel-good ingredients!

by - Posted on Nov 1, 2005

Chocolate recipes: Peppermint Hot Chocolate

Ask any kid: The best pick-me-up on a winter's day is a steaming mug of hot cocoa.

Ask scientists and they'll tell you chocolate has a number of mood-elevating compounds, including anandamide and phenylethylamine.

Dark chocolate is good for the heart too: It's full of disease-fighting flavonoids (a recent study showed it lowers blood pressure in hypertensive people).

To maximize the feel-good factor, I've added another mood-lifter: peppermint.

Ingredients

1 tablespoon cornstarch 

2 tablespoons cocoa powder

4 cups low fat or skim milk

6 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) chocolate, chopped or broken into pieces

¼ teaspoon peppermint extract

¼ cup sugar

1 cup chilled whipped cream (optional)

8 red-and-white-striped peppermint hard candies, coarsely crushed (optional)

Preparation

1. Combine cornstarch with cocoa powder in 2-quart heavy saucepan. Add cold milk. 

2. Whisk until well blended.

3. Add chocolate to saucepan. Bring mixture just to a boil over moderate heat, whisking until chocolate is melted. 

4. Add peppermint extract and sugar. Simmer mixture, whisking, 1–2 minutes. 

5. Remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes.

6. Serve in mugs. Top with whipped cream, if desired. For a festive garnish, sprinkle with crushed peppermint candies.

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